Politics & Economics

Algeria: Protests Continue For 45th Week Running

North Africa

Protests initially broke out in Algeria against the ruling political elite in February 2019 and they have been continuing on a weekly basis ever since.

Several developments have taken place in Algeria over the past 45 weeks, which have been filled with protests encompassing Algerians from all kinds of social backgrounds. Their differences have been largely put to the side as they joined hands to express their grievances and frustrations with the ruling regime over the course of 2019.

“We are one people. We are a united Algeria, consisting of 48 provinces. The people don’t want anything apart from getting rid of the military class and this regime”, said a protester in the capital Algiers.

The main achievement of the protest movement thus far has been the forced resignation of former long-standing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who stepped down from the presidency in April following weeks of protests. Bouteflika and his entourage have represented a ruling political class, under the banner of the National Liberation Front (FLN) that has been at the helm of Algerian politics ever since the country gained independence from France in 1962.

“Since the year 1962, the regime in Algeria has been corrupt. As a municipal head, I can say that the corrupt regime is oppressing society”, stated another protester.

Despite the resignation of Bouteflika, protesters believe that the interim government is preserving the political status quo, without implementing any radical changes to the political regime that has existed in the country for decades.

Just under two weeks ago, Abdelmadjid Tebboune was inaugurated as president of Algeria following an election in which the country saw its lowest voter turnout ever and in which the running candidates all had links to the former government.

The interim government in charge of the country since the resignation of Bouteflika has largely been led by members of the military elite, with Ahmed Gaid Salah at the helm. However, Gaid Salah passed away just over a week ago, a number of days after Tebboune was elected as president.

The Algerian protests are now entering their 45th and the perseverance of demonstrators is set to continue into the New Year.